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GRAND YEARS IS DELAYED

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 26 May 17

BOOK COLLECTION: Stan Smith – congratulations, it was great to catch up with you again

NEW FRIEND: AT RAFFLES HOTEL, STAN SMITH AND I SPENT SERVERAL HOURS TALKING ABOUT THE ODDITIES OF LIFE. THEN THE CONVERSATION SWITCHED TO THE AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPERS AND THE YOUNG RUPERT MURDOCH.

Former journalist stayed “as a buyer and seller” and made a fortune!

FRANK MORRIS

When I was in Singapore in the mid-1960s, I had the memorable experience of being part of a Malaysian wedding ceremony. It makes an interesting conversation piece to this day! The ceremony was held in the paddock-sized courtyard of a rambling and palatial terraced home, with the lawns and heavily treed gardens slopping down to the South China Sea.

This magnificent property, not far from Changi Prison, was owned by the wealthy Australian expatriate businessman Stan Smith. When I arrived at his home on the day of the wedding, Smith and I had known each other for twenty-four hours!

We had met the previous day in one of the bars at Raffles Hotel; we talked for hours, into the late night, about politics, newspapers, the young Rupert Murdoch and so on.

He was well informed, lucid and had a clipped George Sanders-like accent. He was the archetypal smooth operator. Not knowing at the time that he possessed one of the great collections of antiquarian bird and flower books, the subject of books never came up in conversation.

WORK FOR ‘THE SUN’

When we decided to call it a night Smith handed me his card, with a verbal invitation to be not only his special guest at the wedding, but to ‘play’ a small role in the proceedings. In retrospect, this was a bit of a novelty.

There were about 120 guests, but I was the only Australian.

Smith was a former journalist. Born in Brisbane, he hit the road as a lad of sixteen and worked on the Sydney Sun in the 1920s. As the story goes he headed for Asia where he made his fortune from Japan’s post-war reconstruction boom.

Smith, as I recall, did allude to this fact in a roundabout way. He could have been in the arms business for all I knew. But I genuinely liked the guy; he was likable; everyone seemed to like him; he made friends easily.

“A SUPERB” COLLECTION

When a taxi was organised to take me back to my hotel that night we agreed to keep in touch; but that is as far as it went. I sent him two letters but he did not respond. Exit Stan Smith. That is, until I read Peter Fish’s Appreciation column in The Sydney Morning Herald in October 1998.

Smith, who was in his late fifties when I met him, died two years later, in 1968. He did have a passion for books, after all, expensive tomes at that; he had built up “a superb” library of early volumes on birds and flowers all illustrated with colour plates.

These are, writes Fish, “very pricey collectibles”.

<< Australian Book Collector, February 1999; Editor by Ross Burnet, Uralla, NSW. Email: burnet@ozbook.com

MAY: Final! An Aussie journo rare book collection goes under the hammer.

Pictures: Fast talker: Stan Smith chatted about everything. He wanted to the politicians, newspapers and young Rupert Murdoch.    


THE OLYMPIC FLAME: LIT BY GREEK VIRGINS, THE OLYMPICS FLAME TO BURN IN THE MODERN OLYMPICS WAS INITIATED BY THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT AT BERLIN.

VALE: 1936 OLYMPIC GAMES -- OLDEST SWIMMING GOLD MEDALLIST DIES AT 98

FRANK MORRIS

Adolph Keifer, aged 98, who died at his home in Illinois, was a swimming legend. He had been the oldest living US Olympic gold medallist in any sport, said the International Swimming Hall of fame.

At 17, he won the 100m backstroke at the 1936 Berlin Olympics in an Olympic record time that “stood for 20 years”.

“Adolph embodied swimming and lived it every day of his life,” USA swimming interim executive director Mike Unger said. ‘’He was a pioneer for our sport in the truest sense of the word.”

MASSIVE SHOWPIECE

Kiefer was an instructor in the Navy and a business owner whose swimming products helped advance the sport.

The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games was one of Hitler’s massive showpieces and there were swastikas bedecking the stadium. But that was the year that famous American runner Jesse Owens was competing.  Jesse Owens had disconcerted Hitler by winning four gold medals.

He won the 100m and 200m sprints, the long jump and was the final runner in the US team 4 x 100m relay. The only Australian to score a medal (a bronze) was Jack Metcalfe for finishing third in the Hop, step and jump.h

<< Words from the AAP report; Frank Morris.

COMING: 1936 Berlin Olympic Games … Their dreams of athletic supremacy were never questioned.


IT’S THE TOPS! ALAN PORTER’S REPLICA OF GELIGNITE JACK MURRAY’S 1948 FORD V8 SUPER DELUXE. IT WAS USED FOR 1995 MOBIL TRIAL AND WAS NUMBERED 201.

THE FAMILY’S FAVOURITE CARS! GELIGNITE JACK MURRAY’S 1948 FORD AND RECENT REPLICAS

After being retired from active duty in car trials, Jack Murray’s old 1948 Ford V8 Super DeLuxe Grey Ghost was put display in an old car museum, said writer Trevor Poulsen of Restored Cars.

“Unfortunately the loan of the Grey Ghost was on a handshake, which was typically Jack.” The owner of the Museum died some time ago and the “Grey Ghost was treated as an asset of the Museum”. The next step, was the auction.

SUCCESSFUL BID

“John, Jack’s eldest son,” said Poulsen, “got wind of this impending auction that was to be held on the Gold Coast. “ Jack sent a colleague to bid on the car so it could be in the family’s possession once again.

The bid was successful. The car is back in the family.

“After all these years, if you ask the question, ‘Who won the Around Australia Trials in the 1950s?’ the chances are that most people will still remember Gelignite Jack Murray and the Grey Ghost. It made a deep impression in Australian motor sport history.” Adapted by Frank Morris. Information from Restored Cars, May-June 2017.

Pictures: Old mates: Gelignite Jack Murray’s Grey Ghost, the Ford V8 Super DeLuxe.


FAMILY DOUBLE: BSA A10 44 MOTORCYCLE AND A TILBROOK CAR. THE CAR BEARS A FAMILY NAME. IT WAS MANFACTURED BY MY FATHER IN 1953.

THE FAMILY’S FAVOURITE CARS! HE MADE 1000s OF SIDECARS  

Rex Patterson made thousands of sidecars and I have a standard model attached to a BSA A10 44. I have just purchased the one car he made which is described in the Restored Cars Magazine article, said Lyndon Tilbrook.

“The photograph of the car is one I took in 1988 at Rex’s home in Victor Harbour, South Australia. Little did I know that 18 years later, I would own this car to complete my collection?

WHERE ARE THE DOORS?

“The Tilbrook is a small three-wheeler with a Villiers 197cc 2 stroke motor driving the single rear wheel. The degree of ugliness is enhanced by the car only having a single headlight mounted centrally in the grille. There are no doors with cut away sides to ease access in and out of the small roadster type body.

“I have just picked up the car which is now completed disassembled. I’ve got some work ahead to get this up and running.” Adapted by Frank Morris. Restored Cars Magazine, Jan-Feb, 2017.

Picture: Open sesame: Oh, no doors!


GRANDMA OR NANNY: I CALLED MINE NANNY. SHE CAN CHERISH, INSPIRE, PROTECT AND CHATISE. SHE’S A GRANDMOTHER, DON’T YOU FORGET IT!

THINK ABOUT IT! GRANDMOTHERS WITH LOVE

FRANK MORRIS

To place my grandmother in the picture, I’II have to start at my in home in Bexley, NSW. That’s where we lived. I don’t remember anything before that. I resided with mum and dad, Cyril and Iris. I was then only 3 years old. Our home, I thought, was a pleasant, tranquil house-hold.

As I recall Cyril, my dad, worked for Sydney trams as a painter and decorator.                     

I would dress up in my cowboy suit willing to take on the world, like all cowpoke’s do; then I went to my mum’s family who owned a grocery shop. I had brilliant times on all the occasions I went there. I took my prized toys – a fire engine and a spitfire.

One day something got on my nerves. I was walking on the enclosed back veranda and saw the ice chest, airing, with all the doors open. I felt like climbing it. I did.

When I was about to reach the top the whole caboodle came tumbling down; the door on which I decided to climb into the chest gave up the ghost; then there was a wwwhoosh! bannng!

I let out a scream. My mum ran of the kitchen, my dad came from the back yard. They both yelled at me, and laughed. We all laughed. They thought it was picturesque as anything to behold. I was cuddled by my mum for ages.

SO BREATH-TAKING

I was unware of anything drastic taking shape. I lived a quiet, placid life doing what babies or do. But let me tell you, things went slightly off the rail.

The last  several months would be filled with drama. And, for the first time, I looked into my mother’s face and saw the wear and tear that told the story. The thing that really got to me, though, was her straight auburn hair, which looked so breath-taking, was now going the palest of grey. I’ll never forget it.

My mum had contracted a heart condition. She had it, I was told, before she conceived me. Oh, yes, I remember it. It’s was one of the spookiest times of my life.

My mum died when I was 3 years-old in 1940; after I got over the shock of my mum not being around again (I think heaven was used), I noticed that a few cracks were starting to appear from yours truly.

My grandmother was there to pick up the pieces. I’m still not over it; I never will be. I’m still thinking of mum whom I hardly knew. This continues.

Picture: Those were the days. Remember cuddling into your grandma? I do.

Coming: Life with grandma, or nanny, as I used to call her, there for the boy who had much to live for.


THING ABOUT IT! BAKED WITH LOVE IN GRANDMAS’ KITCHENS EVERYWHERE!

Chocolate Fudge

Put into a saucepan and boil for four minutes:

½ cup of milk/2 cups sugar /1 tablespoon butter/1 tablespoon of cocoa.

Remove from heat and add few drops of vanilla essence. Beat until thick, then pour into a buttered dish and cut into squares when set.  To My Grandmother with love, Victoria Avenue Paper Company. Knox, Victoria 3180.

 

 

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 19 May 17

REMEMBER WHEN: Humour – There was once Lennie Lower ...

TURKEY FOR DINNER! WHICH ONE WILL MAKE THE BIGGEST MEAL, LOWER MUSES.

FRANK MORRIS

I first heard Lennie Lower’s name from my father. He loved Lower. He would smile and laugh every time he read the Daily or the Sunday Telegraph. Lower would sensationalise some people for something that would make a nation laugh.

Dad had shed a tear or three when he told me that Lower had died.

“Although he was a knockout journalist from 1930, fame for Lower came literally overnight,” I wrote in a piece on Lower. According to the late (Bill) Hornadge, Lower‘s humour “was very gentle.” He said: “It could be very penetrating. He was wonderful at description. He was a leftie for most of his life, and that came through quite a lot in his writing.

SACKED ON THE SPOT

It didn’t endear him to old man Packer, of course, but they couldn’t do anything about it when he was such a big drawcard at the time.” He was summarily sacked on the spot in 1941. This happened following an episode of imprudent banter with British humourist, Noel Coward. He was visiting Sydney on a wartime fundraising drive.

Lower, a surmising son of a gun, recalled that Packer would never on this occasion let bygones be bygones, was offered was contract by Smith’s Weekly; which he accepted; and stayed there for the rest of his days.

The Dubbo-born King of Humour, Lennie Lower, was aged 43 when he died.

<< There was Lennie Lower! Frank Morris; The article was run in Grand Years a few years ago; the first time in Australian Book Collector was in 2001.

Picture: Final mail. A Column 8 at the Herald was by journalist Joe Payne. Lower got the sack, said Payne, from AWW and the Daily and Sunday Telegraph. Both stories are true.


DOUBLE TROUBLE: “I’M NOT OLD,” PROFESSED GUDGEON. “I PRIDE MYSELF ON MY LOOKS.”

REMEMBER WHEN! ONCE IN A LIFETIME – GREAT STORY-TELLER LENNIE LOWER HAS A GO

FRANK MORRIS

In one of his quirky essays (Arthur) Bryant opined that “one of the advantages of growing old is that one has to have one’s hair cut less frequently; it is one of the lesser afflictions of civilised life, but one that I have always resented and postponed for as long as possible.”

There you are, see what I mean.

The great humourist and columnist, Lennie Lower, grappled with the question of growing old by thumbing his nose! In his novel, Here’s Luck, Lower’s character, Jack Gudgeon, considered the observations of people who called a man of forty-eight “old, superficial and even frivolous.”

BUT I”M NOT VAIN

Lower, the mirth merchant, always let his readers down gently.

“Gudgeon,” he said, “you’re getting old”.

“I’m not old!” I protested.

“You look old,” he insisted.

“That was a lie. I pride myself on my looks. I have not a grey hair on my head. I’m not vain, but in my own defence I quote a remark made by a girl in Flannery’s saloon bar to a friend.

“She said: ’I like his ruddy, clean-shaven, ingenuous face, and he has such a splendidly mature figure and manly bearing. That, I think should be sufficient.”’

So who’s worried about growing older? Think about it. It only happens once in a lifetime.

<< This article, in full version, was syndicated a few years back.

Picture: False Mask: No, not that. He had a haircut and the barber took too much off!


THE TINY TOTS: THE TOM THUMB POKER MACHINE (FAR LEFT) WAS USED IN UNLICENCED CLUBS IN THE 1930s. THE MACHINE TOOK TOKENS AND THE JACKPOTS WERE PACKETS OF CIGARETTES – OR GASPERS, AS THEY WERE CALLED IN SOME CIRCLES IN THOSE DAYS. IT WAS 25 YEARS BEFORE THE CLUBS HAD LICENCED MACHINES IN NSW. THEN THE FUN REALLY STARTED.

REMEMBER WHEN! “SOPHISTICATED” – THAT’S OUR POKIE PLAYER! MAHLAN BARBER SPEAKS OUT

There’s been a lot of change to poker machines in Australia over the past 40 odd years. For instance, there’s more pokies being played in all parts of the world; there are more people playing the pokies than ever before; there are more changes and, in the casino terminology, more alluring pokie machines being released at certain times of the year etc, etc. Australia has moved into the three ring circus which includes clubs, hotels and casinos. When it is all said and done, the pokie is to be played for fun only. The Government is fighting a losing battle against the pokieholics. As I wrote in A Player’s Guide to Poker Machines back in 1981, “Australians are the world’s heaviest gamblers by a long shot.” And will continue to be. I meant it then, and now – FM. The story below was written for Ballygram in 1979.

FRANK MORRIS

The poker machine player in NSW clubs is “probably more sophisticated” than his counterpart in Nevada.

This observation was made by Mr Mahlan Barber, vice president of Bally Distributing Company, Las Vegas. Barber, a recognised poked machine systems expert, said it was a matter of defining the types of players that both areas attract.

“As far as your clubs are concerned it is the same people playing the machines over and over again. They don’t depend on tourists,” he said.

“Whereas in Nevada it’s another matter. We depend on tourists. People come to Nevada from all over the world who are not exposed to poker machines, so therefore the poker machine has a certain charisma.

WAITING FOR THEIR TURN

“In Nevada for example, there are conventions going on all the time and if the convention exhibitor really wanted to entice visitors to his booth he will simply rent a poker machine and hand out free tokens to play with.

“People will stand in line for hours waiting for their turn.

“Now you wouldn’t find one of your club-goers susceptible to this type of inducement only because they are conditioned to poker machines.

“So that’s why I believe your players are more sophisticated than the average player in the States,” concluded Barber.

<< In 1979, this article was written for the December Ballygram published by Bally Australia Pty Ltd.

Pictures: All on top. Mahlan Baber knew how to study and play the pokies. “Back in Nevada, USA, we would depend on tourists. In Australia, the players know the machines and they play time and time again.” Casino v Club movement. Younger people favoured the casinos, with their cross-purpose form of gaming.


THINK ABOUT IT! I have a grandmother and she looks after me and my sister and my brother and no-one else. Claudia.

I like my grandma, she is nice and she is beautiful. Robin.

I wish that my grandma had cleaned my bedroom. Samira.


DOWN CAME THE RAIN? IT POURED AND IT POURED. AND THEN IT STOPPED. THEN IT POURED AGAIN ALL NIGHT. THEN IN THE MORNING, ITS CLEARED. I JOINED MY VILLA MATES AT THE COFFEE SHOP.

LIVING ALONE: IN YOUR RETIREMENT A WOMAN CAN GET A MIXTURE OF FEELINGS

There are times when I get depressed.

ANNE SIMONS*      Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Living alone in retirement? Anne, who has been retired for five years, discovers that being alone is not the same as being lonely.

“When I was approaching retirement age there was one problem – or stumbling block – which perhaps worries many women, but not me. A man. I didn’t have to worry about ‘my man getting under my feet.’ I don’t have one. I live alone.

“I did think about retirement before the time came, which I consider to be a great advantage. While working and bringing up my children single-handed, there were many things that I had neglected. Since then I have managed to make amends in some spheres.

“I find I quite enjoy splashing around with wallpapers, brush and paint. And there’s no one to laugh about the fact that sometimes I get almost as much paint on myself as on the doors and window frames!,” Anne said.

Her role was to become part of the tribe that went to evening classes in English, which might have annexes that flow from that. Anne took to writing for pleasure.

THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE

“I’ve now have written at least 200 poems and have about 80 published in various journals,” said Anne. “Then I found delight in experimenting with some exotic cookery recipes to the advantage of a few clubs in the area. Next, I turned to one of the loves of my youth – music.

“I was pleased to find that the theory and sight-reading hadn’t left me entirely. And no neighbour had yet complained about the few scales and five-finger exercises which I found necessary. If I do find myself getting a little depressed, I find playing my piano really lifts my blues!

“I don’t believe that ‘such and such years’ are the best years of our lives. No one can know this. It’s up to us all, individually; and each stage had its compensations, both financial and otherwise. In retirement, reduced bus and rail fares, visits to cinemas and theatres are a great boon.

“Guilt about neglecting friends and relatives living some distance away has now left me. I’m in touch with them again. The numerous emails I receive, and the replying to them, gives me quite a kick.

“Before my retirement, I never had time to write!,” Anne said.

<< Living alone in your retirement; Best Years Newsletter; March, 2010.

*Not the correct name

Next week: l0 tips for living alone.

Pictures: Backpacking. At 72-year-old, our newest friend in the villa is skirting around the world for 12 months as a last hurrah. Catching up. I look for Skype to catch up to my relatives and friends.


THINK ABOUT IT! The clock ticks. The fire splutters. The cat sings. There’s a knock. Open the door – and there is a smile and outstretched arms and a splodges kiss and a rush of feet. And a day transform. Pam Brown.

My grandma gives my family toys and my cousins too. Rebecca.
I love grandma. She loves me too. We both love each other. Ryan.

<< The children in Mrs Houghton’s year 1 at Chalcot Lodge Primary School, Melbourne.


HEARSES ON CALL: THE POLITICIAN AND LADY RECEIVED THE SEND OFF THEY DESERVED. FROM LEFT: PREMIER OGILVIE’S FUNERAL PROCESSION IN 1938. THE HEARSE LOOKS LIKE A 1934 DODGE THEN A 1939 MERCURY SEDAN; CLARK BROS – BOTH HEARSES ARE 1929 STUDEBAKERS; LADY CLARK’S FUNERAL IN HOBART. THE HEARSE IS A 1940 DODGE.

OLD HEARSES OF TASMANIA: FINAL. CAN’T BEAT THE GRIM REAPER!

Today, most hearses are from Mercedes-Benz or some other imported American model. These days, cars do not lend themselves to being lengthened.

LES MORLEY      Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Clark Bros had nice looking 1941 Dodge hearse came up for sale in 1972. I went and had a look at it, it was in first class condition. I put a price on it, but missed out. Millingtons had a Chrysler Royal that was really styled at the rear end of the body.

It had nice rounded corner windows, all streamlined. Millingtons also had a Hudson, a 1939 model or there about. There was a 1959 Fairlane Ranch Wagon that also was converted for hearse work. They got a Ford Galaxie that looked rather good, but the smartest was the Lincoln Continental.zz`

Millingtons paid $18,000 for one of the Continentals (two were auctioned) which was sent to the mainland and converted into a hearse. It was also changed to right hand drive. With the conversion and body being built this was to cost Millingtons $40,000 in 1972.

It appeared okay, but I thought it too long in the wheelbase, and with those long doors it’s looked a bit heavy. It did the job for Millingtons. They later replaced it with an Australian Fairlane.

1938 BUICK, 10 YEARS ON THE JOB

Today, most hearses are built on the Mercedes-Benz model, or some other imported American makes. Cars of today do not lend themselves to being lengthened. Sure, we have got some limousines built based on American cars; but since Ford quit the Fairlane there is not much left to select from for the funeral trade.

Some old Fords and Holdens are still earning a living, particularly with the country funeral directors. A certain funeral director in the Midland at one stage was using an extended FE Holden station wagon up until about 2010.

In Queenstown, on the west coast, the local undertaker had a 1934 Ford V8 running until about 1956. He then purchased a second-hand 1938 Buick Straight Eight and got another 10 years out of it.

Most country undertakers often buy second-hand hearses from the larger city undertakers. When the Buick proved to be too old the company purchased a second-hand 1956 Dodge hearse, then a 1959 Fairlane, and, lastly, a 1967 Galaxie.

DEATH IS A NO-NO!

Usually, old hearses do not disappear. They are resold to the smaller undertakers.

Although hearses are used every day. But, today, there seems to be nothing much of interest written about them. Maybe, it’s the thought of death associated with them that is the turning point; but they make a good talking point when you restore one.

I once owned a 1939 Dodge and it is still doing funeral work for Geoff Cuthbert in Hobart.

For someone who wants to restore a hearse, you can pick up one at a reasonable price; the demand for them is not great. But are certainly a talking point at any car club gathering!

<< Old Hearses of Tasmania by Les Morley; Restored Cars Australia, Jan-Feb 2017.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 12 May 17

HUMOUR! Ace reporter beats police to the punch in murder mystery!

ACE REPORTER: MASON KNIGHT KNEW WHICH STRINGS TO PULL!

FRANK MORRIS

Ace reporter Mason Knight had just finished solving the “Mr Boots” scandal when the phone rang. He stopped it. It rang again. “Knight,” he answered. It was the editor. “Yes, sir.” The editor prattled on. He caught three words – “luxury, murder and Checkert Point” the suburbs where the rich and famous live.

He was the first media person there. “Mmmm! So, this was what the Checkert country house looks like,” he said in a mumble. The late Sir Henry Checkert bought the land on which the 500 abodes were built nearly 40 odd years ago.

By the time he ‘investigated’ the Checkert country house there were dozens of media people, cops and Coroner Lewing and Sheriff Tom. The Ace Reporter knew both of them so he followed them inside to the living room.

No other reporter or media person would have realised how to go about things, except Mason Knight; he knew everything. The day was developing into a heady time for the Ace Reporter.

This room was like a ‘mini casino’ with all the mod cons of a happy existence. Just away from them, was Caroline Checkert’s body lying on the couch as if she were asleep, clad only in her lingerie, socks and riding shoes.

WHERE WAS THE HORSE?

The Ace Reporter went over and studied a deep gash showing near the base of her skull, not forgetting the cuts and bruises on her arms. He stood up. “I know who did it,” he thought to himself.

More the half of the media contingent had departed; half was waiting outside.

Coroner Lewing sighed and turned away from the body. “I’m out of breath. Open the widows, get me a little air,” the Coroner quickly found a classic French chair. Mason walked through to the French doors which opened out on the front lawn.

The Ace reporter noticed one important facet of the case: Caroline had been moved to the house. The stepmother, the heiress to all of Checkert Park, came downstairs and walked onto the landing.

Before she uttered a word, the Ace reporter asked. “Where was the horse, Mrs Checkert?  ”Mrs Checkert walk passed him, admittedly, to front him.

“Caroline was always crazy about riding. Her father actually built this style of country house so she could have horses. She wasn’t afraid of anything. This same horse had thrown her before, but she laughed and called him Bronco.

BRONCO HAD BOLTED

 “When she didn’t come home for lunch, I became worried and went looking her. I found her over by that big tree opposite the gate to the meadow …”

Ace Reporter: “But did you move Caroline …” She carried on.

“She was unconscious. Bronco must have bolted and thrown her off. I managed to half-carry, half-drag her the house. I took off her sweater and jodhpurs and tried to revive her; then I called the doctor. Thank you.” She was rattled.

Ace Reported: “This is no accident. Let me explain it!”

The three men stepped on to the lawn.

Ace Reporter: “When I went to the French doors they were already unlocked. I take it that route was the way the in. The stepmother said she “half-carried, half-dragged” Caroline to the house. That is a chargeable offence. The stepmother said she removed the girl’s sweater and jodhpurs. In order to remove them, the shoes must be taken off first. A fact the stepmother overlooked.”

“Where was Bronco, the steed?” inquired the Sheriff.

“As Bronco got nearer to big tree he stopped, dead, and Caroline was ditched on the gravel. She was alive then. Bronco continued to run. The damage was done later,” said the Ace reporter.

As they about turned, they spotted Bronco in one of the paddocks, chewing away, not a care in world. The police went in and charged Mrs Checkert with murder.

The Ace Reporter went to his car and phoned through his story. He looked around the Cherkert’s property and imagined what Mrs Checkert would be thinking. He was ecstatic.

Pictures. The one and only. Mason Knight – he looked over the dead corpse and knew it was murder. Bronco bucked: Once the Bronco ditched his rider he gallops off.


NEXT … The adventures of Blackie Rabbit continued: If you recall, Blackie has been kidnapped by a gruesome fellow who claimed to be a pal of his. But as time gets nearer to the ‘unmasking’ of this nifty fellow a pleasant surprise was waiting to happen. COMING IN JULY.


FIRST EMPIRE GAMES: DECIMA NORMAN BECAME FIRST GOLDEN GIRL OF THE TRACK.

EMPIRE GAMES: OUR FIRST GOLDEN GIRL WAS WITH US 80TH YEARS AGO

FRANK MORRIS

“The most memorable in the history of sport in Australia,” shouted the Sydney Morning Herald. It was the day of days at which Australia had a shining star of the Empire Games, the first “golden girl” of the track, Decima Norman, from Western Australia.

“She was the forerunner,” said Ian Heads, “to Marjorie Jackson, Betty Cuthbert, Marlene Mathews and Raelene Boyle. She was the first of the golden girls.”

Enthused the Sydney Mail: “No more stirring spectacle has ever been witnessed on the Sydney Cricket Ground ... the Governor of NSW received a message from the King … the playing of bands, the releasing of a thousand pigeons, and the sending up of a myriad of coloured balloons – this launched the Empire Games of 1938.”

BOOK NOW

The Sydney Mail continued: “Never has the peace-time spirit of Empire been more gloriously represented in Australia. Six hundred men and women, representing 14 countries are competing for the highest sporting honours to be gained in the Empire.

“But they are doing far more than that. That are demonstrating to the world the virility of those sentimental ties and feelings of good fellowship that link the far-flung units of the British people …”

The world and Australia can look forward to the Commonwealth Games to be held in Queensland in 2018.

<< Backpage: Australia’s Greatest Sporting Moments! By Ian Heads; Lester-Townsend Publishing Pty Ltd, Paddington, NSW; Frank Morris.

Frank Morris comment: The British Empire Games was recognised, after several names changes, to the Commonwealth Games in 1970.

Picture: The golden girl. Winner Decima Norman, centre, J. Walker, Australia, and J. Dolson, Canada, third. This is a newspaper photo.         


YES OR NO: IS THE POWERHOUSE STILL ON THE MOVING BLOCK?

POWER HOUSE – A MUSEUM THAT KEPT YOU OCCUPIED FOR 40 YEARS!

When it made its inception, The Powerhouse, Sydney, was shaping up to be one of the 20 top museums in the world. The Powerhouse, which was to open in 1988, is the ‘perfect home’ for over 10,000 of the most diverse objects ever grouped under one roof. This story was run in 1987. – FM.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Sydney will be the home of Australia’s largest Museum complex, The Powerhouse, which is to open in 1988. Developed on international lines, the Museum will be one of the top 20 in the world. It will house one of the most diverse collections ever assembled under one roof.

The site of this exciting project is the Ultimo Power House, which provided energy for Sydney’s trams between 1899 and 1963.

When it closed, its machinery was removed and the building lay idle. In 1979, the NSW Government announced it would become the new and permanent ‘home’ for the collection of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.
This Museum, over 100 years old, had operated from a relatively small four-story building since the turn of the century.

WORLDWIDE GROWTH

The Museum had collected thousands of items in the areas of transport, technology, costume, ceramics and many others – but with little space. Warehouses were leased to accommodate it. The development of the old Power House as a museum reflects the regeneration of interest in historic Australian buildings.

Its size and strong foundations make it a perfect home for the thousands of objects the Museum can now display. There has been a worldwide growth and expansion of museums, particularly in Europe and North America.

The new museum display methods today encourage the visitor to participate and interact with exhibits. The Powerhouse will be in the forefront of this development with over 100 exhibits: including computer programs, video games, crafts workshops, music performances and science demonstrations each day.

PIONEERING SPIRIT

Never before has such a large and complex task been undertaken by a cultural institution in Australia.

With 10,000 objects to display, details such as their size and placement, temperature and light control, jostle for attention with visitor flow patterns, signage and so on; plus the restaurants, theatres and performance spaces intended for the Museum.

To be diverse, the criteria applied to each exhibition at the Museum has established broad thematic areas under which the 30 exhibitions are grouped.

Exploring the Museum’s history, some of the more memorable items from the former Museum, such as the Strasburg Clock and the Plastic Woman will re-emerge in a new context. Examples of our pioneering achievements and the surprising range of Australian inventions that have been adapted here and overseas are another dimension.

The ordinary lives of Australians are examined in displays on the history of brewing and pubs, and our domestic past which has emanated from the kitchen sink to the coat-hanger.

<< Adapted from article, Power House; East-West Australia inflight magazine on March, 1987.

Frank Morris comments: Under the Baird Liberal Government in 2016, the Powerhouse Museum was to move to Parramatta. Under the new Liberal leader, Gladys Berejiklian, the decision to make the move has not been rescinded yet. Although there is talk about building Powerhouse Museum No 2. We’ll have to wait and see. Today, the Powerhouse is different. The Powerhouse is bigger. Many of the exhibitions are from overseas. You notice so much will have changed.

Pictures: Mighty one. Lego and DC Comic characters feature in a sizeable display. Old site. The Ultimo Power House, which provided energy for trams between up until 1963, was first stage of the Powerhouse Museum.


STRIPPED: THE ROYAL FAMILY SHUNNED DIANA THEY EVENTUALLY DEPRIVED HER OF ROYAL LIFE. “YOU ALWAYS THINK YOU’RE PREPARED FOR EVERYTHING,” SHE TOLD THE BBC’s PANORAMA IN 1995.

REMEMBER WHEN? DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES, 20 YEARS SINCE HER PASSING

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

She was eventually called “the People’s Princess”. This was the woman who would be chosen to be the wife of England’s future king. Her face revealed a youthful look, and her figure rounded the curves of childhood.

She stepped tentatively toward the cameras, buttoned up in unfashionable schoolgirl blouses, head bowed slightly, eyes raised only to look with touching adoration upon the face of her prince. She could not know – nor could any of us then – what an extraordinary fate lay before her.

When she died on August 31, 1997, under brutal and unforgivable circumstances at age 36, this gentle creature had become the most admired woman in the world.

SMILE AND STARS BLUSH

She cradled children who had lost limbs in wars; she cradled those who been attacked by such silent enemies as cancer and AIDS; and, of course, she nurtured her own two sons, wrapping them in tenderness and surrounding them with joy …

Tall, lean, elegant, with a smile that moved movie stars to blush. Estranged from her husband, shunned by his royal family and eventually stripped of her royal title, Diana became “the people’s princess.”

At home in London, more than 1 million waited, some for as long as four days, to watch her casket wend its way to Westminster Abbey. Two billion more witnessed the funeral on television.

<< Who Weekly Tribute, Collector’s Edition; Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-1997.

Picture: Parting company. Diana and Charles, holding William and Harry, looks the like the ideal couple out for a stroll. Said Diana: “As the marriage dissolved I had to keep everything together.”

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 04 May 17

OZ SPOT: PART 1. The lady of Pittwater … in the pale yellow house

ON THE SHORES: TARRANGAUA, QUIET AND SECLUDED. “DOROTHEA MACKELLER WAS A VERY PRIVATE PERSON,” SAID A WRITER.

Tarrangaua -- Aboriginal word, meaning high, rough hill. The author, Susan Duncan said that “I cannot find the word in any Aboriginal dictionary.”

FRANK MORRIS

One of Australia’s most famous poets, Dorothea Mackeller, who died in 1968 at the age of 83, is credited with writing the two most quoted lines of Australian literature – “I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains …” which come from her poem, My Country.

Tarrangaua, the home of Miss Mackellar, built on the shores of Lovett Bay, is dated from 1925. Dorothea was, said Susan Duncan in her biography, “wealthy, single, forty years old and already involved in a love affair with the brandy bottle.”

Duncan said: “I cannot ask how the name came about. Perhaps she sat around the dinner table with a group of guests and … they played a game to invent the best title. The name is certainly grand, and so was she.”

Only by boat can you make contact with Lovett Bay … “or walk along … the escarpment the … down into the valleys of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park … and take about an hour and half … with steep rocky tracks where you can easily lose your footing … In contrast, the boat trip trip is five minutes …”

LONELY CHILD

Explained Susan Duncan, “Tarrangaua, the pale yellow house with the corridor of columns and the long veranda,” was perched “on the high, rough hill.”

Australian author Di Morrissey, “who grew up in a house just beyond Frog Hollow”, was invited to open an art exhibition in a boatshed built by a friend. That day, Di talked the about time she crossed paths with Dorothea Mackellar. Di was nine years old and a “lonely child”.

It was an evocative speech. Here is a part it.

“Dorothea, or Miss Mackellar – she was only ever known as Miss Mackellar – asked me what I was doing,” Di explained, standing in the long, beamed sitting room in a misty pink suit, her bright blonde hair piled high on her head. “I told her I was looking for fairies.”

I WANT TO WRITE

Dorothea asked Di: “Have you found any? May I help you?”

”And so we set off looking for fairies together,” Di continues. Dorothea asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. ‘”I want to be a writer,” I told her, wide-eyed and innocent of her fame. “” Do you?” she replied. “Well, I write a little, too. Would you like me to recite a poem I’ve written?”

“Oh yes, please,” I said.

Dorothea, spoke with a Scottish burr, recited every verse of her iconic poem, My Country.

“After her speech to open the art exhibition ended, I asked Di what Dorothea Mackellar wore that day she met her.”

“A long, dark dress and a hat, I think. Yes, that was it. A rather dull coloured dress, navy and black, in a heavy fabric. The hat was quite big. Straw, I think.”

“I wish Barbara, who was writing in life about Dorothea Mackeller, had been able to hear Di’s words.” Barbara occupied Tarrangaua before I did.

<< The House at Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan; Penguin Books; 2012.

May: Towards the end of Barbara’s document on the life of Dorothea Mackellar, she touched on the history of Tarrangaua.

Dorothea or Miss Mackellar? Dorothea, circa 1926, photograph at home, Tarrangaua. Di. “What you want to be?” Said Di, “I want to be a writer!”


NEXT WEEK:  Ace Reporter Mason Knight figures in a detective yarn that left the police for dead!


SUPER WORLD BREAKER: BACK IN 1971, RAY TOMLINSON, THE INVENTOR OF THE EMAIL. HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHOOSING @ AS THE LOCATOR SYMBOL.

COMPUTER MILESTONES: PART 4. FROM DATE PROCESSING TO DIGITAL

The first email message was sent by computer.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The 1960s -- they were shaping up into comprehensive years.

In 1965, the first commercial minicomputer to sell for less than $10,000, the DEC PDP-8, was released by Digital Equipment Corporation.

The University of NSW, 1966, installed an IBM 360/50, a general purpose computer with 24-bit addressing capability of processing data items of 32 bits, 64 bits or 15 decimal digits; and it seemed possible that graphics displays might be provided. The availability of the first generation of medium scale integrated circuits from Texas Instruments allowed a team, including Gordon Rose, Murray Allen and Trevor Pearcey, to develop the programmable, multi-user INTERGRAPHIC.

Douglas Engelbart demonstrated his system of keyboard, keypad, mouse and windows at the Joint Computer Conference, San Francisco, in 1968. Conclusively, he showed the use of a word processor, hypertext system and remote collaborative work with colleagues.

@ IS THE LOCATION

In 1969, UNIX was developed at Bell Laboratories by Thompson and Ritchie.

The first email message was sent by computer engineer Ray Tomlinson across the ARPANET network, the precursor to the Internet, in 1971.  As the inventor of email, the application that launched the digital information revolution, Tomlinson was also responsible for choosing @ as the locator symbol in electronic addresses.

Xerox Alto, 1973, produced the first bitmapped graphics, the first mouse and the Ethernet network protocol which has dominated networking for the past three decades. Work began on the protocol later to be called TCP/IP, which was developed by a group headed by Vinton Cerf from Stanford and Bob Kahn from DARPA. This new protocol was to allow diverse computer networks to interconnect and communicate with each other.

>> ACS Milestones; The Australian, November 6, 2001. Change in editorial, Frank Morris.

First email. The first email message sent in 1971. The Machine. The first email computer.


 

THE WILD FRONTIER! ANNIE OAKLEY – SHE COULD NOT MISS

Oakley’s philosophy in life: “Aim at a high mark, and you’ll hit it!”

Adapted by Frank Morris

Known as “little sure shot”, Annie Oakley was the greatest woman rifle shot in the world.

She was born on August 13, 1860, in a log cabin in Darke County, Ohio. By the time she was six she was using a rifle to help hunt food for the family. Her aim was spectacular. She became one of the most highly regarded hunters in the country.

While still in her teens, Annie won a shooting match in Cincinnati against the crack marksman, Frank Butler. Annie then became internationally celebrated; and later, she and Butler were married.

As Frank and Annie, they toured the States in circuses and music hall acts until 1885; they joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

SERIOSLY INJURED

With a rifle, Annie could not miss.

From 30 yards she could hit the end of a cigarette held in Butler’s lips. Once when she was touring in Berlin, she shot a gasper – or cigarette – from Kaiser Wilhelm lips. In 1910, Annie was seriously injured in a train crash.

She recovered. With Butler, Annie continued to tour, giving shooting lessons as well as demonstrations. She passed away on November 3, 1926.

<< The Real McCoy: People behind the names you thought were fiction; Eileen Hellicar. Drawings by Shirley Curzon; Cranbrook Press, Brisbane.

ON GRUARD. Annie Oakley always got the measure of a target!


WHO’S THE THIEF? STRANGER IN THE NIGHT. IS IT HIM … OR HER?

CLASSIC REPEATS: HUMOUR! ONE MINUTE MYSTERY – A STRANGE HOLD-UP!

Professor Fordney: Did you call for help? Mrs Ellison Clark: “No – I was too frightened”.

Adapted by Frank Morris

“It was terrifying experience,” said Mrs Ellison Clark to Professor Fordney. “The most horrible I’ve ever had. I’ve been completely unnerved ever since.”

Fordney interjected: “Naturally, you have been greatly upset. It’s not to be wondered at. A hold-up is an alarming matter, especially for a woman. I’ll ask as few questions as possible. Will you bear with me?”

While he smiled at her nod of assent he did not fail to notice the broken nail of the first finger of otherwise beautifully manicured hands. She drew a handkerchief from her elaborate negligee and covered them.

“Well?” she inquired.

“I understand you were standing outside your dressmaker’s at 3pm, waiting for your chauffeur, when a man slipped up to you, inquired the time, and demanded your money and the jewellery you were wearing. Correct?”
“Yes. That’s what happened.”

“Did you call for help?”

“No. I was too frightened.”

“Did you hand over the valuables or did the robber take them?”

“Why, I gave them to him, I was …”

Fordney interjected: “… Is this list correct?” He pulled from his pocket a piece of paper. “Two diamond bracelets, one emerald pendant, a diamond tiara, two emerald earring, $45 cash, and three diamond rings?”

“That is correct.”

"Did they take them?"

“Were you wearing a wrap?”

“No. It was extremely warm.”

“And your wrist watch?” the Professor asked, looking closely at the woman.

“I’m sorry, Mrs Clark, to take action in the case. But, of course, I know the alleged robbery was a frame-up.”
How did he know?

That the “robbery” was a frame-up was obvious to Professor Fordney. No woman wears that type of jewellery at three o’ clock in the afternoon. After confessing that the hold-up was a fake, Mrs Clark, and the man who conspired with her to obtain money from the insurance company for the alleged theft of her jewels, served a prison sentence.
[Adapted from the Australian Printer, 1904]


CHATTER! FINAL! OUTBACK INTERLUDE BY LES DIXON JNR

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 28 April 17

BIOGRAPHY: John Curtin, 14th Prime Minister – Australia mourned his death

AUST + USA: CURTIN COOPERATED WITH GENERAL MACARTHUR. AUSTRALIA NOW USED THE AMERICAN OPERATIONS IN THE PACIFIC.

“Peaceful passing in sleep after lengthy illness,” The Canberra Times said.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

A statement issued by the Acting Prime Minister, Frank Forde, stated, “The life of the Prime Minister, Mr John Curtin, came to an end peacefully and without pain, in his sleep, at 4am today. Mrs Curtin was at his bedside.”

Flight-Sergeant John Curtin, his son, was at the Lodge when the end came. Mrs J.W. Cole, their daughter, who was ill in Perth, was told of the news by telephone.

Politician John Joseph Ambrose Curtin, was born at Creswick, Victoria, of Irish Catholic immigrant parents on January 8, 1885. He left school in Melbourne at 13 and continued his education by voracious reading. In 1903 to 1911, he held a succession of unskilled jobs before becoming an estimates clerk.

Curtin’s early commitment to socialism was fostered by close association with radical Victorian MLA Frank Anstey and the international syndicalist Tom Mann. He was active in the Political Labor Council, the ALP and the Victorian Socialist Party, of which, from 1910 to 1911, he was the secretary.

Curtin wrote prolifically for left-wing papers and polished his oratory skills at public forums. He worked for the Sawmillers (later Timber Workers) Union and the Australian Workers Union. Despite his increasing dependence on alcohol, became an organiser for the union movement’s anti-conscription campaign.

RECOGNISED WAR SIGNS

A committed pacifist, he was briefly jailed and fined for sedition. Curtin moved to Perth as editor of the AWU’s Westralian Worker, from 1917 to 1928, which he built into a nationally respected Labor paper.

He had become a convert to parliamentary democracy and was elected to federal parliament at his fourth attempt, becoming MHR for Fremantle from 1928 to 1931, until the fall of the Scullin Government. He gained renown for his passionate, eloquent and well-informed speeches.

He regained the seat in 1934 and held it through three elections until his death as prime minister in 1945.

Curtin, on pledging to abstain from alcohol, was chosen as leader of the opposition im 1935, and set about reuniting an ALP shattered by defections and the schism caused by NSW Premier Jack Lang. Curtin recognised the inevitability of war and urged the preparation of Australia’s defences and modernisation of its air force; this angering Labor isolationists and pacifists.

In October, 1941, he became prime minister and minister for defence coordination after the unstable Menzies-Fadden Government lost its parliamentary majority.

WARTIME LEADERSHIP

As the Japanese army moved south through the Pacific, Curtin realise that Australia was dispensable to Britain and controversially announced: “I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinships with the United Kingdom.”

He cooperated fully with General MacArthur in allowing Australia’s use as a base for American operations in the Pacific.

He infuriated Churchill by recalling Australian troops from the Middle East to defend Australia; to which end he also gradually extended the scope of conscription, contrary to his lifelong beliefs and despite bitter opposition from within the ALP.

He fulfilled several of his stringent recruitment measures and he maintained a commitment to the ALP’s socialist agenda: he introduced unemployment and sickness benefits and PAYE taxation. And, as well, he fully supported Treasurer Ben Chifley’s proposed monetary reforms and inaugurated the visionary post-war reconstruction program.

However, the constant strain of wartime leadership undermined his health. A heath attack in November 1944 weakened him. On July 5, 1945, he died, only weeks before the war ended.

<< Biography: Monash Australia International University, Reef Reference Publishing, Victorian.

Modern Labor: John Curtin and Elsie, his wife … death was not far away. The Facts: Time Magazine features “Curtin from Down Under” in its April 24, 1944 issue.


YOU’VE GOT ME! THE CAPTURE OF NED KELLY IN THE FILM VERSION OF THE NED KELLY GANG IN THE 1920s. KELLY STILL WEARS THE BODICE OF THE STEEL ARMOUR; THE HELMET IS BY HIS SIDE.

AUSTRALIAN CHRONICLE NEWPAPER: PART 1. NED KELLY’S GANG BROKEN AT LAST

BUSHRANGERS … A wild career said police. Brave or brutal?

A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Melbourne, November 11th, 1880 – The infamous outlaw, Ned Kelly, was hanged at Melbourne today. His last words were, “Such is life.”

Kelly was captured by police at Glenrowan on Monday, June 24th, after a fierce battle in which many shots were exchanged.

After being 16 months in hiding, some of Kelly’s gang went to the hut of former friend, Aaron Sherritt, and shot him dead because they believed he had entered the pay of the police.

The murderers rode 40 miles (80 km) to join Kelly and a confederate, Steve Hart, in taking possession of Glenrowan township where about 30 people, women and children among them, were imprisoned in the hotel owned by Mrs Ann Jones.

BURNT DOWN

The outlaws then forced fettlers to remove sleepers from a nearby railway line to wreck a train transporting police to Glenrowan. The loss of the train was averted by prompt action on the part of Tom Curnow, a schoolteacher.

When police arrived and rushed the hotel, Kelly was wearing armour weighing 90 lb, comprising headpiece, breastplate, backplate and apron. Despite this protection he was shot down after a fierce gun battle, and arrested.

Mrs Jones’s hotel was burnt during the fray.

The Kelly Gang, as it became known, comprised of youths who had criminal records from an early age. Kelly, the leader, was arrested for assault when 14, and gaoled for a similar offence a year later.

THEY WENT INTO HIDING.

Both Ned Kelly and his brother Dan were wanted for wounding a policeman on April 15th, 1878. They “went bush” and a reward of 100 pound each was offered for their arrest.

Perhaps their most spectacular holdup was at Jerilderie, New South Wales.

On Saturday night, February 8th, they locked up two policemen and donned police garb. On Monday morning they robbed the Jerilderie branch of the Bank of New South Wales of 2141 pounds. They detained about 60 people in Jerilderie’s Royal Hotel.

Following the exploit a reward of two thousand pounds each was offered for the capture of the gang members. It was then that they went into hiding.

Ned Kelly as well as his associates made frequent allegations of police brutality. The average decent citizen does not question the bravery of the men in uniform who ended the wild career of the reckless and brutal outlaws.

<< Australian Chronicle Newspaper, 1871-1880; by Frank Morris and Frank S. Greenop; Antipodean Publishers Pty Ltd, Artarmon, Australia.

BUSHRANGERS: Part 2 – When Thunderbolt met his match! Coming in May.

Such is life: Sketch shows Ned Kelly nearing his end. Ned Kelly: I’m the head of the Kelly Gang!


CHISEL-CHINNED MODELS: THEY POINT VACANTLY OR CLUTCH TELEPHONES AT IMPROBABLE ANGLES.

COVERS 1995: DJ -- THE NEW MAGAZINE FOR DAVID JONES

“Hello and welcome to an Australian ‘first’” said Chris Tideman, Chief Executive.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

“This is first time a sophisticated, quality magazine has been published in Australia exclusively for a department store,” said Chris Tideman in the magazine’s ‘Welcome to DJ. “Your favourite store is as creative and innovative as ever.”

When you turn the pages of this magazine you find that it will hold its own against any other women’s journal. “Service has been our hallmark since we opened our first store in 1838,” Tideman said.

A lot was happening to David Jones when the magazine was produced. It’s been in retailing for 157 years. “We now have 32 stores and you loyalty continues to be the driving force behind our success … the first of a series of new stores have opened in Cairns … and there will more in coming months.”

NEW ESSENTIALS

Tideman continues: “Our new store at Tuggerah, on the NSW Central Coast, opens in October; and in November we start trading at our relocated store Westfield Parramatta. Our first suburban store in Melbourne will open at Glen Waverley early next year … then at Queensland: Robina next year and at Carindale in 1997.”

DJ, “the first fabulous issue” is 116 thick with full-colour throughout, they are 24 pages of “red hot” fashion split up with pages of café-style homewares, Spring beauty’s new essentials, Tanzania travel safari, wine and an interview with Mike Carlton, etc.

Carlton says: “John Lennon once said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Fashion is what happens to me when I’m wearing other clothes.” Said Mike:

On his dinner jacket:

“I like white dinner jackets … if they were good enough for Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, they’re good enough for me.”

TANNED, CHISEL-CHINNED

Ties and things:

“I sally forth to buy ties in sober regimental stripes on the day that menswear departments are proudly unveiling their new shipment of lairy splodges.”

Fashion gear:

“My pet fashion hate is the casual gear covered in fake sports insignia. No sailor would be caught dead in it.”

Models:

“Models themselves are such dweebs. Tanned, chisel-chinned, clear of eye, they point vacantly into the near distance or clutch telephones at improbable angles.”

Said Tideman: “Successful retailing demands constant sensitivity to customer needs … (and) we have 13,000 dedicated people on the team, working hard … making sure that there is no other store like David Jones.”

<< DJ – the first issue of David Jones Spring/Summer magazine, 1995.

Up Front: DJ, first “fabulous” issue.


CHATTER!  PART 3. OUTBACK INTERLUDE BY LEX DIXON, JR

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 21 April 17

EASTER SHORT STORY: THE ADVERTURES OF BLACK RABBIT AND THE GREAT PRINCE!

GROWL: “HERE I COME,” SAID THE GREAT PRINCE TO HIS PARTNER. IN THE MEANTIME, SHE WAS FLAT-OUT MAKING SURE SHE WAS GOING TO WIN THE RACE.

“Wake up! Wake up! Rumper rabbit cried. “Wwwwwwake up.”

Blackie the rabbit began to stir. “What’s your name? Where am I for god’s sake? This is NOT La La Land?” said Blackie.

“Hold on a god-dam minute,” Rumper rabbit said. By this time all the animals and birds in the area, and the four young Rumpers, came as loudly as an express train.

“Holily trinity,” said Rumper, “this is no La La Land! It is … La La MacForest! It was bought by a mega rich land lord when he arrived here. There was talk that La La MacForest was going be turned into the biggest hamburger palace … anywhere … as far as the eye could see. But anyway, that’s enough of that.

“And what I was going to tell you is that Great Prince Reindeer and his partner are passing through to see us. That’s why the crowd is all agog.”

“I must be dreaming …”

I must be DREAMING …”

I AM dreaming,” said Blackie all in a tussle. “This is ex-tra-ordinaaaary …” 

Meanwhile …

The La La MacForest phemenon was being explained to Blackie, who was coming out of a deep dreaming sequence. Great Prince and his partner decided to cut through the open forest and lakes as the shortest way to go.

Great Prince halted. He went to have a drink of cool water and he saw a fuzzy head looking at her from the bottom of the lake.

“Who is that,” the Great Prince wondered. He jerked his head up. He was staring at his partner who was smiling Ace Reportergraciously. “Who but you, my dear Great Prince.” He kissed her on the lips. Rabbits swooned. Frogs gulped. Butterflies danced. And the owl hooted. It was amazing stuff.

“Now,” the Great Prince shook his head and said, “Let’s go.” Before long, he said “I’ll race you to the nearest waterfall.” She looked overwhelmed. His partner gathered her back legs in and scooted for open meadows!

Now, Great Prince was preparing himself to let go. So let go he did. He gallops, and gallops, and gallops … but his partner was too far ahead.  And all the animals looked at each other and began to smile.

Meanwhile …

“… ex-tra-ordinaaaaary … ex-tra-ordinaaaarry … per-plex-ing! …”

But before he could utter another phrase poor Blackie, now steeped in dark shadow, looked up, and up and up until he suddenly saw the Herculean head of the Great Prince and Lady Reindeer standing there to attention.

Blackie just stood … gaping.

The owl gathered all the animals together.

Then, suddenly, it happened. A chorus of fine, theatrical humming came from several blue wrens in the tree above! Hummmmmmming … like you’ve never heard it before.

“Hoooo-ray, hoooo-ray, hoooo-ray!” sang Blackie. Then all the animals joined in: “This is a sp-eci-al dddday!” The hummmmmmming and the melody wennnnt on!

In the meantime, Blackie was gone. Lost. Disappeared. Where did he end up exactly nobody knows? He come from La La Land but which part of it.

He was fast asleep in a covered terrain in a valley of La La Land … but this time he was shackled by the two front paws. He awoke with a quick start. “I don’t believe it, I simply don’t belieeeeve it.”

Blackie could move from side to side. He faced an opening which led underground into the never-never. Then all of a sudden he froze.

Deep into never-never there was growling sound which seemed to come out from no-where. As it got nearer, it got louder. The growling continued. “I am coming to get you, I am coming to get you …”

The voice got closer, and closer …

Blackie said, half shouting: “Gee, it’s been one hell of a week for me. Next, I’m tied up like a yabbie … I can barely move. Ex-tra-ordinaaaaary! Ex-tra-ordinaaaaary!”

Part 2: I need some help, thought Blackie. “I need to contact Mason Knight, ace reporter.” Coming in May.

Ace Reporter (picture).


DID YOU KNOW? Whether you’re planning an Easter brunch, lunch or dinner, you can’t wrong with an Easter Cocktail. Try an Aperol Spritz and a Mimosa … “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance” says Benjamin Franklin, 17th century writer and creator of the political cartoon … Penfolds MAX’S Chardonnay has won 6 gold medals! Named after Max Schubert, a master winemaker, this is a quality addition to the Penfolds stable. Grand Years’ Frank Morris says, “The verdict: Nine out of 10.”


1138: AGAINST THE SNOWY BACKDROP, THIS TRAIN READYS ITSELF FOR A DELIGHTFUL TRIP THROUGH THE CANADIAN MOUNTAINS.

INSIDE THE NEWSPAPERS: ROCKY MOUNTAINEER MILE POST – “A FEAT OF CONSTRUCTION …”

Canada became an independent country on July 1, 1867. It consisted of the provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

Sir John A Macdonald became the Confederation’s first Prime Minister of Canada. He turned his attention to ensuring that the rest of what is now Canada did not join the United States.

Using the promise of a railway link across the continent, Macdonald persuaded British Columbia to join the Confederation in 1871. The original plan was to have the government fund the construction but have the railway built and operated by private business.

However, because of other financial burdens, the government was not able to do this and Macdonald began to look for a private group to take on the task.

In 1880, he met with a melee of Montreal businessmen who formed the Canadian Pacific Syndicate. The main members of this group were George Stephen, President of the Bank of Montreal, his cousin, Donald Smith, Chief Commissioner of the Hudson’s Bay Company and a railway promoter and financier, James J Hill.

A charter was awarded to the Syndicate to build the railway and Stephen became the first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

BOASTING A RECORD

Building a rail line to the Pacific was one of the largest railway projects ever undertaken at the time. Millions of areas of wilderness had to be surveyed and mapped in order to find a route through the  Canadian Shield and the mountain ranges of British Columbia.

Major Albert Bowman Rogers, a well-known surveyor, was hired in the spring of 1881 to find such a route. On May 28, 1881, he found the incredible pass through the Selkirk Mountains that bears his name; and it became the route of CP Rail.

Realising and building of the railway was a monumental task; the Syndicate decided to hire a top railway man to oversee the construction.

On January 1, 1882, 38 years old William Cornelius Van Horne became the General Manager of CP Rail, earning the then unprecedented salary of $15,000 per year. Van Horne became a powerful driving force immediately, boasting CP Rail would lay 800 km (500 miles) of track during the season.

(To date, the Canadian Government had taken ten years to produce 480 km/300 miles of track.)

He came a little short of his goal, laying 669 km (418 miles) of track in the ten month period.

<< Rocky Mountaineer Mile Post, USA, June, 2016.

COMING: The Last Spike was driven on November 2, 1885! Canada’s first transcontinental railway would be completed almost six years ahead of the original schedule. But first, it would face a few hardships along the way.

Celebration: A group of workers were present as they hammered in the last spike.


THE YOUNG ARGUS: THE PAPER WAS JUST HITTING ITS STRAPS BEFORE IT BECAME “MONARCH OF THE DAILIES.”

CLASSIC REPEATS: PUTTING THE ARGUS UNDER A MICROSCOPE

“You’re the last Argus. Because of continuing heavy losses, the Argus is to cease publication. This will be the last issue” – The Argus Management. This message was splashed over the front page.

FRANK MORRIS

The life and death of the Melbourne newspaper, The Argus, was a momentous event in Victoria’s history. Born in 1846, The Argus was a true colossus.

In the mid 1850s one of its contributors was the propagandist and speaker, Ebenezer Syme. The association though lasted only a short time.

Syme, “who found liken beliefs” in the paper’s owner, Edward Wilson, until a philosophical disagreement forced them to part company. In David Syme: A Life, C E Sayers writes”

“Unrepentant (Ebenezer) took his beliefs, the thunder of his editorial writing, the satire of his pen…to the newly started newspaper round the corner, The Age.”

Eventually, by 1852, The Argus was to embody several other state-run newspapers. By the 1890s, under the editorship of the innovative F W Haddon it was not only hailed as “a splendidly-written morning broadsheet,” but the best daily paper published outside England.”

REDUCED IN SIZE!

For nearly a century, the paper was a power in Australasian affairs, before it began to decline in the period between the wars.

In 1949 The Argus was purchased by the Daily Mirror group of London, a move which signalled the death-knell of the one-time lively crusader and arch-conservative among newspapers.

The London connection immediately “tabloidised” it. The once great broadsheet was edited as a tabloid – its “giddy period” – and so started its tremulous but inexorable death over the next eight years.

By the mid 1800s a significant development in journalism was starting to manifest itself. In 1864 The Argus Newspapers launched The Australasian.

Two years before its demise The Argus pioneered colour printing on the news pages, which was achieved by setting up rotary lithographic four-colour presses to run in tandem with black-and-white letterpress.

MONARCH AMONG MASTHEADS

Although the closure of The Argus had been imminent for many years, it was a shock all the same when it finally dawned on January 19, 1957.

It was a monarch among mastheads and its death reverberated throughout the newspaper kingdom. The newspaper was a landmark in Victoria’s history.

It makes no difference what part of the world it takes place in, the death of a great newspaper is a sad event.

No-one expressed it more eloquently that Claude McKay, the last editor of Smith’s Weekly. McKay noted in his autobiography, This is the Life: “Death scenes in literature, drama and grand opera are written to extract the last agonising moment of tragedy.

I have seen it happen but once, and once is enough.”

The last Argus: This is the final issue – the message was all over the front page. The Argus building: It was still going strong. 


END OF AN ERA: THE AUSTRALIAN RECORD-BREAKING COLT SOLD FOR $5 MILLION AT INGLIS’ COMPLEX AT NEWMARKET AT A PACKED SALES RING IN 2013. PHOTO BY VIRGINIA HARVEY.

CHATTER! INGLIS NEWMARKET STABLES – AUSTRALIA’S EASTER SALES AT ANOTHER SITE!

FAREWELL: Since 1905, thoroughbred auctions have been conducted at Newmarket Stables by well-known Willian Inglis and Sons and concluded on April 12. Currently celebrating 150 years in business, Inglis is set to move its operation adjacent to the Warwick Farm racecourse. Photo by Virginia Harvey, Land newspaper.

SIZZLER – THE ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT SALAD BAR – CLOSES ITS DOOR

SAD END: After 29 years, Sizzler at Kogarah, NSW, has closed. The store’s future was indoubt as far back as 2015 when Collins Food Limited, the company that owns the chain, announced it “would close some of its restaurants.” The only remaining Sizzler will be in Campbelltown. There are still several restaurants in Queensland and Western Australia. Sizzler was launched in California in 1958; and the first Australian restaurant was opened in 1985. The closure was described as the “end of an era.” Adapted by Frank Morris from St George Leader.

Boosted business: There was an emotion surge in trade on the Saturday night when news that Sizzler was about to close after 29 years.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 13 April 17

THE GREAT WAR: THE CARTHEW’S – PART 1. THE FAMILY THAT WENT TO WAR

WE’LL GIVE IT OUR BEST SHOT: AUSTRALIA TO BRITAIN -- MORE MEN, MORE TIME TO FINISH WHAT YOU PROMISED.

This was one of the hardest hit families in Happy Valley.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The small paragraph in the Myrtleford Mail, early in July 1914, reporting the assassination of an Austrian archduke and his wife in Sarajevo, an obscure European town in Serbia, raised scarcely a ripple of interest among its readers.

The Victorian farming community was far more deeply concerned … Things had never looked so bad.

Among those hardest hit was the Carthew family of Happy Valley, who had farmed their land for more than fifty years. They had carved out a holding from virgin bush and adding to it, from time to time, as land was opened up for selection.

Thomas Carthew had emigrated in 1857 from … Treggojerran in Cornwall. Carthew was hoping like thousands of others, to make his fortune on the Victorian goldfields. He never found his El Dorado. He saved enough money to bring his wife and nine children out to Australia … to buy a smallholding near Myrthelord.

CONTINUED LIKE HER HUSBAND

‘Young Thomas’, aged thirty-two, brought his timid, eighteen-year-old bride home to his autocratic mother, Elizabeth, in 1872. Margaret Macaulay was no exception to hard work in the nineteenth century.

A tiny woman, Margaret was only five feet tall and of slight build, often used to rise before dawn to milk the cows and feed the stock, and sometimes help her husband dig postholes in the hard, clay soil. She also split rail, chopping wood, lifting back-breaking sacks of grain, wash, iron and cook for her growing family.

Margaret bore five sons and five daughters, all of them healthy except the first-born.

The arrogant old woman, Elizabeth, died at the ripe age of eighty-six, surviving her son, Thomas by several years and ruling the roost until the last.

PLEDGE OF 20,000 TROOPS

After she was widowed at the age of forty-six, Margaret continued to run the farm as her husband Thomas would have wished, aided by her son Charles; while at the same time rearing the seven younger children and caring for her eldest daughter Margaret.

Her eldest son, Thomas Henry, or Harry … had left home after an argument with his father and gone to Western Australia to make his way in the world.

Britain had sent an ultimatum to Germany to withdraw its troops from Belgium by midnight of August 4, 1914. When the deadline had passed with no action taken by Germany, Britain announced immediately that their two countries were at war.

Within a day or so of the declaration of war, Britain had requested aid from her colonies, and the Australian Government had immediately cabled a pledge of 20,000 troops, seventy field artillery guns and the necessary ships to transport them to Europe. Britain accepted gratefully.

Margaret Carthew heard the news from a passing neighbour with a sinking heart. She had no doubt at all that her son Charles would consider it was his duty to enlist; although, as a farmer, he would not be expected to do so.

Charles’s feelings were ambivalent.

<< Voices from the Trenches: letters to home, Noel Carthew, 2002; New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd, 14 Aquatic Drive, Frenchs Forest, NSW, 2086, Australia.

COMING IN MAY: PART 2. Charles first letter to his mother: “I wish you many Happy returns of this day …”

Nee Macaulay: Margaret Carthew, mother of Charles, Fred and James, arrived in Myrtleford as a young bride in 1872. Elderst: Adelaide, the sister of Charles, Fred and James.


GOVERNANCE: WHEN CAPTAIN TRUMAN SAID “DO YOU UNDERSTAND?” THE TROOPS REALISED THAT THIS MAN WAS OUT TO PROTECT THEM.

THE GREAT WAR: PART 2. CAPTAIN HARRY OF BATTERY D – THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC PATRIOT OF ALL!

“I was the most thoroughly scared individual in that camp. Never on the front or anywhere else have I been so nervous,” said Truman.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The men made their first attempt to embarrass their new CO. The battery had some 160 horses and, after waiting for Captain Truman to show up, the men staged a mock stampede. This, they felt sure, would frighten the mild-mannered officer out of his wits.

But Harry Truman had grown up around cattle and horses and he could tell at a glance that the “stampede” was a fake. Instead of panicking … Harry just sat quietly on his horse and, with a complete lack of expression, watched the goings-on.

When the men had worn themselves out and stood sweating and dust covered with disgust and frustration showing on their faces, Harry ambled his horse toward the largest group of men.

Seated calmly in his saddle, unruffled and unperturbed, he quietly ordered the men to clean up the debris and care for the horses; also mend the harnesses and repair the wagons. Then he rode quietly away as 180 swearing, sweating, toiling men laboured to undo the mess they had created.

TRUMAN WAS LIVID

It was quite a price to pay for a joke that had backfired.

That night, still smarting from their defeat, the men got into a free-for-all among themselves. They smashed cots … and sent four men to the infirmary. When Captain Truman heard of this the next morning, he called all the noncoms, sergeants and corporals into his office.

Most entered with a grin … they fully expected the new CO to plead for help, to whimper for their support, and to grant concessions in return for making the men behave. But their smirks faded quickly …

Captain Truman rose steely-eyed behind his desk, and in a quiet voice which expressed as much in tone as it did in words, delivered instead of a plea, an ultimatum.

GERMANS RETALIATED

“You noncoms are responsible for maintaining discipline within your squads and sections,” he reminded them. “I intend to see that this is done. Furthermore, I intend to bust any man back to private who can’t do the job. If you want to keep those stipes on your arm, you’ll have to prove to me than you merit them. Is that understood?”

The noncoms filed out the room convinced that the new CO means business. The Dizzy D would never be a model battery as far as discipline was concerned. But under the command of the man they quickly came to respect and love … Battery D would take a backseat to no one as a fighting unit.

It was September 6, before the 129th brigade saw any action. They had been assigned to a fairly quiet sector in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace. On this night there occurred what became known to Dizzy D as “The Battle of Who Run.”

The “battle” began with a 500-round barrage fired at the German lines by Battery D. For a while after the barrage, things were quiet; then, suddenly, the Germans retaliated in kind.

Part 3: Panicked … and, suddenly, every member of the unit was racing for his life!

<< People of Destiny published by McGraw-Hill Book Company, USA.

Steely-eyes: Captain Harry Truman (circled) is surrounded by members of Battery D in 1919. It was taken at Camp Mills, New York, when the unit had just returned from overseas. Quiet: American infantry advancing.


HERE WE COME: A REGIMENT OF AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE ON THEIR WAY TO BEERSHEBA.

THE GREAT WAR: BEERSHEBA – WAR IN THE DESERT

Diggers: The guns are primed! Yes, Beersheba was important – it was end of the Turkish line.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The Anzac Light Horse and the Imperial Camel Brigade was made up mainly of Australians. The Light Horse had been left behind in Egypt as part of a combined force under British command to prevent the Turks controlling the Suez Canal, and to defeat them in the Sinai Peninsula and Palestine, the area now occupied by Israel, Jordon and Lebanon.

In the spring of 1916, the Australian commander, Sir Henry George Chauvel, led the mounted attack against the Turks across the Suez Canal. The first Australian victory was at Romani.

The Australians suffered several hundred casualties in the action. Chauval then moved on and occupied El Arish in December, making it a base from which to clear the Sinai Peninsula of the enemy.

When this was accomplished early in 1917, the mounted soldiers, supported by infantry, moved into Palestine.

General Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, a British officer, assumed command. At Beersheba, in the Judean hills, the Anzacs mounted their famous cavalry charge.

TAKING GAZA “GREAT” VICTORY

Beersheba was important because it was the inland end of the Turkish line, and because it had wells to supply water for the men, horses and camels.

The Light Horse charged through machine-gun and rifle fire, jumped the Turkish trenches and dismounted to fight with rifles and bayonets.

Surprisingly, few riders or their horses were lost.

Allenby, a popular leader, then moved 32 kilometres west to take Gaza – the other end of the enemy’s line. After that, his troops moved north to occupy Jerusalem.

The city had been in Muslim hands for 600 years, and its fall was celebrated in London as a great victory. Afterwards, the fighting continued north of Jerusalem, and across the Jordan.

<< Australian History, Macmillan’s Series, 1988. Author: Ron W. Laidlaw.

The cavalry: He drove in his spurs and charged on Beersheba.


THE SILENCE: THE 1914 CLASSIC READY TO GO.

THE GREAT WAR: REMARKABLE FOUR PART DRAMA SHOWS WHAT CAN BE DONE IN AUSTRALIA

In 1914, Sydney’s Palace Theatre premiered The Silence of Dean Maitland.

ERIC READE  ADAPTED BY ‘MRS MOVIE’

The Silence of Dean Maitland, starring Arthur Shirley, Harry Thomas and Lottie Lyell, is a four act drama that “clearly demonstrates what can be done in Australia,” said the Melbourne’s Argus.

Producer Raymond Longford spent months searching for typical English buildings and surroundings and found them at the Gladesville Asylum. The old buildings still remain in their stately splendour and that’s one of the reasons why the Silence of Dean Maitland should occupy a place of honour in the annals of Australian film.

Longford, anxious to develop Australia’s film technique, used the close-up. Yet, today, few know of this epic. During the Dean’s public confession from the pulpit, the camera was focused of the face of Harry Thomas, who played the role.

STARTLING EFFECTS

When the picture was projected and reached the point where the Dean announced his guilt, Thomas stood behind the screen and spoke his lines. This must have had a startling and dramatic effect on the audience.

The Argus, feeling a deep sense of responsibility to the future of Australian films, wrote “there is absolutely no reason why Australia should not, in the near future, reap an immense revenue by producing big feature films locally.

The Argus went on: “This film drew crowded houses, and if the people who attend the picture houses will only give the Australian film industry a fair chance … wonderful scenery and clever talent should come right to the front in picture production.”

The critic deserves high praise for his remarks …

<< The Australian Screen: A pictorial history by Eric Reade; Lansdowne Press, Melbourne; 1975.

Always an actress: Lottie Lyell in a scene from The Silence of Dean Maitland -- “demonstrable.”


MATE, THERE’S A WAR GOING ON HERE

A near-sighted woman nearing 80-ish: “Now look at that young fellow. A couple of months in the army would make a new man of him!”

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 07 April 17

THE MONSTER: He lied, cheated, bullied and robbed his tottering empire!

BOW TIE: TYCOON ROBERT MAXWELL BECAME INCREASINGLY DESPERATE AS HE PLUNDERED HIS EMPLOYEES.

He, Robert Maxwell, of the Daily Mirror, told lies over the missing millions.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

Robert Maxwell’s worldwide empire had collapsed in ruins. This was within a month of the publishing mogul’s mysterious death. “And immediately years of rumour about the man and his business methods became appalling fact.”

A senior Mirror columnist told the newsroom, “We are just delighted the man is dead.”

HIS sons, Kevin and Ian – “whom he had promised he would leave nothing – found the truth was even worse. He had left them with hopeless debts of hundreds of millions of pounds.” Faced with the “enormity of his double-dealing, the brothers quit his two public companies, Mirror Group Newspapers and Maxwell Communications.

BUGGED ALL OFFICES

“As they left, it was revealed that not only had Robert Maxwell siphoned off more than 700 million pounds into a secret ‘slush fund’, but that 426 million pounds had been taken directly from his employees’ pension3 funds.

“Police joined hundreds of accountants and lawyers in a mammoth “paper chase”.

The aim was to track down the “missing millions as the Daily Mirror turned on its fallen ‘saviour’ and revealed chilling stories of how Maxwell had bullied and threatened his cowed minions: culminating in the revelation that their owner had bugged all his executives’ offices.”

HE was outright gambler and womaniser. Stories also emerged that he lost “up to 1.5m pounds a night in casinos.”

“NOW, everything in Maxwell’s empire of deceit, was for sale, as police try to determine whether the sins of the father shall be visited on his sons; whether they were knaves or fools.

“There is no longer any doubt about Robert Maxwell!”

<< International Express, December 12-18, 1991. Australian Edition.

MORE: Murdoch vs Robert Maxwell -- while the pair of new press barons battled for News of the World newspaper.

Admission: Front page -- How the Daily Mirror pursued its “missing millions” story. Under siege: The brothers beleaguered – how Kevin and Ian Maxwell were forced to resign.


10th BIRTHDAY: PUBLISHED FOR THE FIRST TIME -- SHERLOCK HOLMES AND SIDNEY PAGET

Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes and author of many great historical novels, is still acclaimed as one of England’s foremost writers. His biographer, Hesketh Pearson says: “No writer in English can capture and communicate the simple joy of physical energy and combat as infectiously as Doyle. Only Dumas can beat him at that game.” Of the Sherlock Holmes sagas, Pearson writes: “They have a quality, at once amusing and exciting, peculiar to Doyle, and in which alone he had no rival.” Series starts in August. – Frank Morris.


LAST BELL: A FIREMAN’S FUNERAL GOING TO CORNELIAN BAY CEMETERY, HOBART, IN A 1930 DODGE.

OLD HEARSES OF TASMANIA: YOU CANNOT BEAT THE GRIM REAPER!

People over the years have been carried to their last resting place in all manner of conveyances.

LES MORLEY

There are two things in life that you can count on, death and taxes. You might be able to beat the Taxman but when your number comes up, you cannot beat the Grim Reaper. People over the years have been carried to their last resting place in all manner of conveyances.

But in the horse-drawn era, many were carried in what was known as a hearse.

Some of these horse-drawn hearses were elaborate vehicles; they often had beautiful woodcarving and stained glass in their windows; and some were lined with gold leaf and black ostrich feathers which were a credit to their builders.

As the motorcar became a vehicle of ‘conveyance’ it did not take the undertakers long to accept it as a means of transporting the deceased to their final resting place.

CALL IT QUITS

Undertaking is older than the motorcar. In days past nearly every large town had an undertaker or funeral director, as they are known today, and they all had a hearse. Some stayed with the horse-drawn hearses up to the late 1930s. But in the end, they would succumb to the motorised hearse.

In Tasmania, with regard to undertakers, it was no different to the rest of the country. They were to be found in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie; and there were also some in the larger towns in the north-west, east and the west coast.

There were up to about half a dozen in Hobart, and about the same in Launceston. But over the years the numbers have declined.

In Hobart there is now Millingtons and they have been in the funeral game since the horse-drawn days. There is the Graham Family, which was once the Clark Bros, formally housed in Argyle Street but their building was demolished.

‘OLD’ STILL WORK

Hooper and Burgess are now Turnball Family Funerals; and there is also Phillip Stephens. In Launceston there have been Finney and Sons, Vincent’s and others who have passed on. Devenport has Pinegrove Funerals, Clark Funerals, Kentish Funerals and also Vincent’s; and Parkside Funerals at Burnie.

All these funeral directors have stylish looking hearses. Personally, I have attended funerals directed by them from Zeehan to Launceston and Hobart.

Most funeral companies seems to hang on to their hearses for years, and it is not uncommon to see their vehicle are not late model cars. Today, you will see Ford Fairlanes and Holden Statesmans still doing the job, even from the 1970s.

<< Restored Australia Cars, Jan-Feb, 2017.

Coming: Some fine looking hearses built from 1920s to the 1960s.

Mourning: A police officer’s funeral in a 1940 Dodge. Hearses: In an open-car body style pulled by a 1926 Hudson.


1968: DOUGLAS ENGELBART AND ‘MOUSE’ – HE DEMONSTRATED HIS SYSTEM OF KEYPAD AND MOUSE AT A COMPUTER CONFERENCE IN SAN FRANCISCO. HE INVENTED IT IN 1962.

COMPUTER MILESTONES! PART 3. FROM THE DATA PROCESSING TO DIGITAL

ARCTURUS computer unveiled.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

In 1960, Australia’s first transistor computer, SNOCOM, was developed by David Wong and Murray Allen at CSIRO/Sydney University. It was produced for the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric  Authority’s (SMHA) Snowy Mountains Scheme.

The use of transistors meant SNOCOM was a tenth of the size of its vacuum-tube predecessors and used only a tiny fraction of the power. In fact, as little as a 60W light; so it ran cold.

Also that year, the Weapons Research Establishment needed to predict where its “toys” would come back to earth. This required high-speed real-time processing of a variety of telemetry data streams. At Woomera, SA, Hinckfuss, Keith and Macauley invented remote digital communications and used the UK TREAC design to build ATROPOS, a Digital Impact Predictor (DIP).

In 1960, the high-speed, bargain basement computer ARCTURUS was installed at Sydney University. IBM unveiled its first transistor mainframe, the IBM 7090 and a Digital Equipment Company released the DEC PDP-1.

THE ‘MOUSE’ INSTITUTE

Also made that year: the world’s first transistor minicomputer, the first commercial computer equipped with a keyboard and monitor. The cost was US$120,000.

R.J Kingsmiths, it is believed, was the first Australian software company to be established in 1961.

In 1962, Douglas Engelbart of the Stanford Research Institute invented the ‘mouse’ pointing device for computers.

In 1963, CRIROnet, Australia’s first computer network, was built at CSIRO using a CDC 3600 in Canberra; and two CDC 3200s in Sydney and Melbourne. The “network” initially relied on overnight airfreight of magnetic tapes.

THE SUPERCOMPUTER

Trevor Pearcey and Murray Allen, in 1963, started a game to design the perfect computer, which they christened CIRRUS. By the early 1960s, they had a paper design from the hardware right up to compilers and a multi-user operating system; it seemed a waste not to try and build it.

The pair obtained funding and built it at the University of Adelaide.

In 1964, the first Australian mini-computer, DEC-PDP-5, was delivered to the University of NSW. And Control Data Corporation delivered the world’s first supercomputer, CDC 6600.

Dartmouth College (UK) developed the BASIC programming language; IBM released its general purpose System/360 range of computers; the American Standard Association adopted ASCll as the standard code for data transfer.

<< Adapted from ACS double-page in The Australian, November 6, 2001 by Frank Morris.

Institute: 1962 – the invention of the mouse. His computer: Trevor Pearcey operating the CRSI MK 1.


AMBASSADOR: JOHN JARRATT LOST A DEAR FRIEND TO MESOTHELIOMA.

COMMENT: ASBESTOS REMAINS AN EVER-PRESENT DANGER

John Jarratt said asbestos is a killer that continues to claim the lives of Australian men, women and young adults “after it was banned in 2003.”

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

To save lives from asbestos, said John Jarratt, we’re on a mission to educate more Australians than ever before. There are more asbestos products still hidden in one third of homes in Australia. Here’s John Jarratt:

“After losing a dear friend and colleague to mesothelioma, the memory of what asbestos did to my mate Harold Hopkins, and that it might have been avoided, still fills me with deep sadness.

“As Ambassador for Asbestos Awareness Month … I’ve met many, many people who, like me, have lost someone dear to them; they had been unnecessarily exposed to asbestos fibres. Friends, grandparents, husbands, wives, mothers, daughters and sons have succumbed to asbestos-related diseases they because had inhaled asbestos fibres.

DEADLY FIBRES

“The first wave of victims were the miners and manufacturers of asbestos and their wives who died from mesothelioma when they breathed in fibres while washing their husbands work clothes. The second wave of asbestos-related deaths were tradies who’d worked with asbestos-containing products.

“In recent times, in what’s been dubbed the ‘third wave’ of victims like homeowner DIYers and tradies, have been identified as those most at risk. Asbestos is not a thing of the past. It remains an ever-present danger.

“Asbestos remains in one in every three homes; if disturbed, they will release deadly fibres that can be inhaled. Asbestos is not just in fibro homes either. Any brick, weatherboard, fibro or clad home – even apartments built or renovated before 1987 – will contain asbestos in some or another.

“At the moment, there could be asbestos lurking under floor coverings, in walls, behind wallpaper, under floor and wall tiles, in eaves, garages, carports, sheds, bathrooms, kitchens, laundries, roofs, fences and even concrete paths.”

<< John Jarratt, Ambassador, Asbestos Awareness Month Campaign; Community Fairfax Newspaper. Jarratt stars in the television series Wolf Creek.

Campaign: Stay away – asbestos is being removed. What will it be: John Jarrat in a scene from a series, Wolf Creek. 


CHATTER! OUTBACK INTERLUDE … BY LES DIXON JNR

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 31 March 17

THE HARBOUR BRIDGE: Golden jubilee of a graceful arch

HAIL THE BRIDGE: EIGHTY-FIVE YEARS OLD SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE … SHOWING OPERA HOUSE, CBD AND CIRCULAR QUAY.

Bridge opened with great pageantry.

FRANK MORRIS

There were two shocks awaiting the Premier Jack Lang before he cut the ribbon on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. As Lang wrote, “Bradfield wanted to be Napoleon III of Sydney. “He wanted to pull down everything in the way of his grandiose schemes.

“He was always the first man thinking of the future.”

And the other: the whole world knew about the opening by a New Guardsman, called Captain de Groot and a “decrepit steed”, who slashed the ribbon before the Labor Premier Lang could raise an elbow.

Fifty years on, Peter Spearritt, author of The Sydney Harbour Bridge – A Life, wrote Sydney Tower might be taller and the Opera House prettier, “but nothing can match the sheer scale and setting of the Bridge.”

SCHEMES FAILED

Spearritt goes on. “While no longer the largest arch bridge in the world, it lives on in the imagination and lives of Sydneysiders as the centrepiece of the city. Few structures in Australia are more used and abused.

“The first realistic bridge plans surfaced in 1850s. For the next 70 years, proposals came thick and fast; some bizarre. But politicians came and went almost as often; so the schemes failed for lack of political and financial support.

“Australia has never seen construction more spectacular than the building of the Bridge. The half arches slowly reaching out from either side of the Harbour, held Sydneysiders spellbound.

“When the arches finally met in August, 1930, cynics – and Melburnians – were bitterly disappointed. The excitement continued with the hanging of the deck and the building of the granite pylons.”

DEATH-DIVED

The Sydney Harbour Bridge was officially opened on March 19, 1932. The largest crowd ever produced in the history of Australia gathered on the day.

After all hell broke loose, Premier Jack Lang opened the Bridge. In the first seven months – at the “height of the Depression” – 60 people death-dived off the Bridge. Spare a thought for the 16 men who died during its construction.

“Few symbols have been more enduring or more distinctive,” wrote Spearritt.

If something deserves its 85 years, it’s the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Long live the Bridge!

Pictures: With prongs at the ready. Closing the arch in 1930 -- three men risked their lives. The Bridge. On the anniversary of its opening at 85 years of age.


CHATTER! BRIDGE HAIRDO WAS “FUN, BUT QUITE EXHAUSTING”

The 50th anniversary of the Bridge, that is. The hairdo worn by Miss Deborah Price, above, is the work of Mr Peter Cole, a hairdresser at Cessnock in the Hunter region. “I decided that it was an ideal way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bridge and the idea intrigued me because it had never been done before,” Mr Cole said. He said it took about three hours to create, and he described the work as “fun, but quite exhausting.”

<< Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, March 19, 1982.


MAKING USE OF SCREEN: RICKY MAY SPECIAL, ONE OF HIS LAST TELEVISION APPEARANCES

CLASSIC REPEATS: FLASHBACK 1988 – THE JOVIAL SINGER COLLAPSED AND DIED!

He was one of a rare breed.

FRANK MORRIS

“It’s hard to believe that Ricky May is gone” said Good Morning Australia’s Mike Gibson, only hours after the jovial singer had collapsed and died after one of his shows at Sydney Regent Hotel in June!.

For the next twelve hours around Australia the show-business industry and the media paid tribute to the “gentle giant” who was once described by American jazzman, Dave Brubeck, as “the best jazz singer in the world”.

In Time magazine, May rates a two column tribute in which he was described as “one of a rare breed”.

Says Time Australia’s Kate Halley: “May was a generous performer who put an enormous amount of verve into his act. His death … touched a chord of sorrow around Australia”.

In fact it’s true to say that May’s untimely death, at 44, had as much impact on the public at large as did the tragic death of Australia’s rock legend Johnny O’Keefe ten years earlier.

DRUMMER WAS IMPRESSED

May, a New Zealander who had recently became a naturalised Australian, came to Sydney for a season as Sammy Lee’s Latin Quarter in 1962.

He was an instant success.

Over the years he not only became a favourite with Australians, but he also played to huge audiences around the world.

In1983 American drummer Mel Lewis was so impressed with May’s vocal talent he invited the entertainer to New York to perform with Lewis’s orchestra.

“He’s sensational”, said Lewis.

Although he’d been billed as a jazz singer for a decade or so a modest Ricky May told this writer in 1982, it was “a pretty big claim”.

I DON'T HAVE CONFIDENCE

He said: “It may be a cop out for me but it’s just that I’m not a really committed to a particular style like jazz, rock or whatever.

“I never had to do enough to justify it. I did what I wanted because in the cabaret  context I was not restricted. With jazz you go out and do that special thing. I didn’t have the confidence, so my style developed from there.”

He was performing on stage at Perth’s La Tenda nightclub when he was named Entertainer of the Year at the 1979 Mo Awards.

Although he was nominated again in 1980, and from 1983 to 1988, he was never more confident of winning his second Gold Mo than in 1984.

“Yes, I’ve been around for a long time,” May told this writer. “But like a good red wine I’m getting better all the time.”

<< This story appeared in several newspapers.

Pictures: Images! The last of Ricky May. Final session. Ricky was involved in more singles in 1983. When he recorded a song it became known as “The Best of”.


NEARLY THE SAME: ROCKDALE’S PARRY’S MILK BAR WAS THE SAME AS KOGARAH BUT THE COUNTER WAS PLACED ON THE OPPOSITED SIDE. THEODORE PANARETOS (PARRY) AND HIS STAFF TAKEN IN 1965.

CLASSIC REPEATS: PARRY’S MILK BAR REKINDLES FOND MEMORIES

FRANK MORRIS

1950s remembered!

“Are there any good suburban papers out your way, Sir Frank Parker inquired of Tom Mead. “Yes, The Propeller and the St George Call, he replied. “Well,” he said casually. “Go and see if you can buy them.”

He was quite excited. He call on the Kelly boys at the St George Call, at Kogarah. They said they were sitting on a “good gold mine” and to come back “when we’re 65.” That was a-no!

The Call was not a gold mine but The Propeller, at Hurstville, was. But The Propeller said “no thank you”.

What I remember of the 50s is the simplicity of life. I had everything. I had  hundreds of friends. I had my billycarts,  which I used to race.

I was a keen marble player. And I was sent to a high school that was only a couple a train stations away.

For two years, I led the life of Riley. Then out of the blue, somebody mentioned “Parry’s Milk Bar.”

So we would head over the rail-line to Parry’s at Kogarah (NSW) and toss down a banana split.

I used to go two or three times a week until I left school. Apart from ruffling up a few kids at lunch hour, I use to dream about Parry’s.

A STONE'S THROW

Well, Parry’s is back – while in my mind at least, just like it was in the 1950s.

In the 1940s, Zacharias Panaretos and his wife, using the name of Jim Parry, opened up the first Parry’s Mike Bar.
Noel Kelly, of the defunct St George Call newspaper, remembers Parry’s as if it was yesterday.

“It was stone’s throw” from the paper,” Kelly said. “It was a gem; the only place open on the weekend and late at night. It was a meeting place where you would go for a hot strawberry milkshake on a winter’s night.”

But Kelly has the distinction of being the great, great, great grandson of the first free Greek to arrive in Australia. The Greek jumped ship in 1832.

The Parry family went on to open milk bars all over Sydney.

Picture: On call. Noel Kelly, of the St George Call newspaper, used to visit Parry’s Milk Bar every day until it closed.


TWO INVENTORS?: DOES ELIZABETH MAGIE HOLD THE SECRET HISTORY OF MONOPOLY.

MONOPOLY: MEET THE NEW TOKENS

FRANK MORRIS

Say tat-ta!

Say au revoir to the thimble, the boot and the wheelbarrow all you mighty Monopoly fans. There is a new squad in town. “Maker Hasbro has announced the results of an international poll to choose which tokens to use in the next Monopoly game out later this year,” reported the News York Times.

The new tokens include a dinosaur, a penguin and a duck.

When Charles Darrow, an American engineer, invented* his real estate board game, Monopoly over 82 years ago, it’s hard to imagine that he had any idea how popular it was going to be.

THE BIGGEST IN THE WORLD

Not only in the US but worldwide.

Darrow, who designed the game on his kitchen floor, literally struck gold. Since 1933, Monopoly has been translated in over 35 languages, 1 billion players in 103 countries and well over 300 million copies have been sold.

By far, it is the biggest selling board game in the world. Darrow died in 1967. He became the first millionaire game-designer in history.

*Was Darrow or Elizabeth Magie the true inventor?

Pictures: Struck gold. Charles Darrow and his game board of Monopoly..

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 24 March 17

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